4th June | Louisiana
It was a typical Tuesday night at The Louisiana, a line-up of four bands and a fairly early start time of 7.30pm. Pitifully missing the first band, Because Reasons, I was happy to hear from the second act, Way Back When, that it was, “Their first gig – loud and super tight.” I was hoping their music isn’t caught in self-glorifying bliss like their name though.
They failed to impress; the name was, perhaps, more befitting of a mature band. Being faced by the young men on stage, I felt it rolled in arrogance. Their name, beyond their years, was not matched by their music which came across as unrehearsed with a lack of showmanship. They stared into their instruments or clung to their mic stand, avoiding each other and the audience (apart from their mate at the front). At times I thought they were creating some interesting syncopated rhythms but instead their over stocked indie presented a failed attempt at hollandaise, splitting the mix and forever out of time.
The final support of the night, Don Juan, provided me with another name I couldn’t fathom, but I don’t speak Spanish, so I let their music do the talking. And natter away at me it did! Giving me drums and three guitars with a riverbank of effects pedals, I was captivated by the math-rock rhythms, interplaying with peace and mayhem.
The Game of Thrones-looking frontman had smooth gritty vocals, which dipped in and out of varying qualities – lyrically incomprehensible, though, and not because they were in Spanish. The band scratched alien noises in between songs, creating an interesting abstract atmosphere, but confusing the audience as to when to applaud.
A band name I grow ever more fond of is Rosehip Teahouse, the headline act of the night who finally arrived on stage at 9.45. Having only heard ‘Same Sky’, I wondered what lurked ahead and crossed my fingers for a box of turkish delights with an extravagant amount of sugar dusted all over. I was given just that: rolling indie-pop rhythms floating through lashings of glistening guitar riffs and the sweet airy vocals of band founder and guitarist, Faye Rogers.
Backing her were the voices of bassist Kristy Leigh Cromwell and drummer William Dickins, who couldn’t match her tender soft qualities and needed to pull back a little. Another GOT lookalike, The Beloved Tony according to Bandcamp, was consistently intertwined with his instrument, remaining quiet through the band chatter and barely coming up for air through his delicate effortless shredding.
There’s no denying the UK’s ability to churn out new bands. But as with all mass production, this comes with the occasional fault and fray. That said, just a little TLC can turn the mundane into something beautiful, smothered in sequins (or sound decent at least). For bands like Rosehip Teahouse, however, there is less of a way to go until entering boutique stardom.
Listen to ‘Same Sky’ here: